Saturday, September 24, 2011

Prepared Before The Flood

Flood Awareness

I was trying to think of a catchy title and I could only think of this.  
 One voice is not enough, how can one spread the word?  Do we need a big flashy ad campaign, a jingle from a pop star?  I actually thought that Montgomery county PA before 15 years ago had not seen much flooding.  After conducting some research, I have found that Pennsylvania is a very flood prone state.       We easily forget how many creeks and rivers are very close to us all.  You can look at any detailed map, in print or online and see the network of waterways that flow from north to south all over Montgomery County.
The objective of this blog was originally related to my personal interests in weather events and Photography.  With reading weather stories for this blog, combined with watching how this area flooded during Irene and Lee, I feel that I need help raise awareness of a potentially serious problem with our suburban landscape.  Even worse, I have heard numerous times how people have died trying to drive through flooded roads. I met and spoke with a business owner who standing outside his flooded business the day after Irene had passed. I offered to take pictures of his damaged local and send the pics to him by email.   Most of us do not have a clue how to handle ourselves with a serious storm threat.  Of course we don’t see massive tornados bringing 5 inch hail or a direct hit with winds driven from a large Hurricane.   However with recent the climate change we are finding that the ocean temperature has risen, ice flows in the North Atlantic are disappearing. All these combined problems add up and alter our weather at a global level.   Our media and other sources of information do not seem to be enough to capture our attention and educate the general public.  On another note, I was upset to hear how the residents of Joplin Mo. ignored the tornado warning last May and this of course is how many people died, being unprepared for what was a very large tornado that destroyed much of their town.  We must understand that because of climate change, there is greater chance of having strong storms occur that make it harder for Meteorologists detect them.  In other words we end up being caught by surprise.  Being unprepared or making a really bad decision during a flood could mean life or death. 
There are several things we can do to be prepared for unusual weather events.
Some of this will sound like common sense, but we live complex lives where we are so busy at school or at work that we sometimes are too busy to read or listen to the news.  There are NOAA weather alert radios that can be used if you are in a power failure or if your cell phone loses its signal.  I recommend this type of radio because the alerts are done by a computer and the reports that are made are done 24/7.  A weather radio is easily found in your local RadioShack store.  Being ready for a disaster involves preparation and planning.  More information on that and how to document your property for insurance purposes can be found here.,A,1553,Q,43345,readymontcoNav,%7C34802%7C.asp

Flood Insurance

Did you know that it takes about 30 days just to enroll in a flood insurance policy?  This reinforces that fact that you should be prepared way before storms affect you and your family. 
I obtained the  following information  at  this is a very educational and useful website.  I placed this information from that site here for educational purposes, I do not sell flood insurance.
Please read the information below...

Inland flooding  (this is no joke)
Some of the most damaging floods after a hurricane occur hundreds of miles from the coast. Even though the state of Pennsylvania has no ocean coastline, it repeatedly faced intense rainfall causing dramatic inland flooding during last year's hurricane season. In 2004, hurricane season flood insurance claims for Pennsylvanians were second only to Florida. Residents of that inland state received more than $175 million in total payments.
A tropical storm can produce more rainfall than a Category 5 hurricane. The largest amount of rainfall from hurricanes is usually produced by slow moving tropical storms that stall over an area. As all hurricanes weaken to tropical storms and move inland, the threat of torrential rains and high winds over large areas intensify the risks of flooding.
Inland flooding can occur almost immediately and even a small amount of flooding can cause significant risk and damage. As tropical storms move inland, rainfall dumped in short timeframes can result in flash flooding that can last up to a week or more. Just six inches of moving water can sweep a person off his or her feet, and only a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage to homes and businesses.
Be FloodSmart Inland Flooding Preparedness Tips:
Monitor any tropical storm systems. Make sure you and your family are aware of storm paths and pay attention to any flood-related advisories or warnings for your community.
Make sure you have an emergency plan and contact. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route and ask someone out of state to be a "family contact" in case you are separated from loved ones.
Get flood insurance. Visit or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn your risk, prepare for inland flooding, and discover how to purchase a National Flood Insurance Policy. A 30-day wait period means you should act now to protect your property. The toll-free number and Web site provide flood insurance resources and information, including tools to find an agent and estimate the cost of insurance premiums.

Finally, if you know someone that was affected by recent flooding as a result of  T.S Lee please visit this article (see link below) which states that residents in Montgomery Co. can apply for aide.

Friday, September 23, 2011

UARS Update

UARS Update: Re-entry expected between 11:45 pm EDT today and 12:45 am EDT Saturday

Info courtesy of Nasa..

Friday Night - First day of Fall

First day of Fall - leaves are falling in Montgomery County...

Several topics for this evening to go over.  Fist just a brief message about this blog, please look over to the left side of this page where it labled as "Follow my email".  This option allows you to subscribe to this blog and you will receive regular updates. 

Areas of Mongomery Co. had already received about 2 inches of rain.  More Flood warnings were issued due to continued rain. An additional 1-3 inches is expected to fall in the general area.  Areas north and west may even see more rain than E. Montogomery County.  The current Flood Watch is in effect until 6 am Saturday.

The Nasa Satellite UARS re entry time was obviosly pushed forward, now they are stating that it may fall through the atmosphere around 11 pm tonight through 3 am on Saturday.  There is a small chance that it could crash somewhere in North America.  

Here are some tips from

During A Flood:

Protect Yourself and Your Home

Here's what you can do to stay safe during a flood:
  • If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
  • Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways.
  • If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
  • If you've come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Satellites, floods, what happened to TGIF?

So here we are waiting to see what happens tomorrow.  Normally, what should be a Friday could mean we go to work through driving rain and look at the news to see where the Nasa Satellite will crash down.

I just read that our area (eastern PA) should see less than 2 inches of rain tomorrow. Other areas such as Philadelphia, Pottstown, Allentown and in New Jersey should see a potential of more rain.
They are stating that for the most part we may see water in our basements again and low lying areas could be flooded due to the ground is still soggy from Tropical Storm Lee's rains.

The unofficial news of Nasa's UARS satellite, is that within a few hours of it tumbling throught the atmosphere there should be an annoucement as to where it's path could be.  Most scientists are saying that it will break up into parts and most of it should scatter in the ocean early Friday morning.

Hurricane Ophelia is not projected to hit the east coast at this time.

If you like to read (like I do) and have the time for it, here is a detailed report from Nasa about UARS

Nasa UARS PDF file

If conditions change tomorrow I will post from my (somewhat) smartphone for any needed updates.

Flood Watch

Some fog again this mornimg, currently at 67 degrees with a high temp of 77.  Chance of rain with thunderstorms  sometime after 3 pm

A flood watch is  in effect for Friday morning.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rain is starting to move into our area, and agian for tomorrow rain will start around 11 am.

Nasa is stating that the satellite that is falling back to Earth, will be the largest of all time.
Currently weighing in at 6 tons, much of it should burn upon re-entry and end up weighing around 1200 lbs.
It is projected that it will break up in about two dozen fragments and that it may end up in the Pacific Ocean.

Outlook for tomorrow 
Slight chance of rain early then a 50% chance of rain at around 11 am.
Probability of rain continues throughout the day into the evening hours.

Storm Activity for the Atlantic;

The Low pressure disturbance created the now named "Tropical Storm Ophelia", new computer models are suggesting that this storm is veering  west then turns Northwest.  This means it could hit the East coast.

I will continue to study information from and the National Hurricane center for updates.

Good morning..

Areas of fog will clear by 10 am, visibility is reduced to about 1/2 mile. Please use your lights when driving this morning.  Dewpoint is about 60 degrees which causes low clouds thus causing fog.

Nasa had been talking about a defunct satellite that had shifted off its orbit and is soon to fall into the atmosphere.  This video states that the object could partly burn up and crash into the Earth around Sept. 23rd

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

At about 9 pm I see the temperature at my location at 63 degrees and falling with the humidity uncomfortably rising above 87%

The rest of the week will involve rain..
Meteorologists are stating that the rain with flooding will be a problem on Friday.
Remember the ground is still fairly saturated with previous rain events so we should expect to see flooding.

Now that I can post from my phone, I will be updating the blog with updates.  

For the Tropics, the Low pressure system is growing in intensity, still a good change of generating a tropical storm or Hurricane.

Hottest world temperature I found is 113 degrees in Iraq
and the coldest temp is -97 F in Antarctica

This is found at

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard
  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tropical storm formation

Here is an update for possible developing storms in the Atlantic from the National Weather Service
60 percent chance of becoming a Hurricane.
Remember that Hurricane season continues into November..

800 PM EDT MON SEP 19 2011




For Mongomery County - Tomorrow there is a 60% chance of rain by 11am
Climatedriver has become a member of 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Early stages of transition

Today the temp reached 65 degrees and tonight it will drop to 49.  I was out yesterday, camera in hand looking at the progressive changes in leaf color.  All this week you can start to see the gradual change. 
We are used to seeing green foliage, accustomed to summer and this was a radical one.
The second pic clearly shows Holly trees with all green except for some bright red leaves that recently changed.

Soon I will talk about activity stirring up in the tropics.  I am waiting to see what will start to form and if it would develop into a significant storm(s).